Commander Jim Traner attended the annual Department convention held in Yakima, his old home town (although joining the Army provided a quick way out of town). Not a lot of new ground was covered although the Department is moving more and more to communicating solely by email and social networks. I know some of the folks are complaining, but its one more good reason to get the younger folks involved—at least they can retrieve your email for you. Carlos Almeda is the incoming Department Commander and will do a great job. Outgoing DC is Jerry Herker who did a great job of moving the Department forward. Commander in Chief Richard Eubank attended the conference and was the keynote speaker at the banquet on Friday night. His message was simple, if we want to protect veterans’ rights we need to join veterans’ group. The VFW has lost 700,000 members in the last 15 years or so. It’s up to each of us to stop that tide.